The first Air India flight carrying 219 Indian students from Ukraine landed at the Mumbai airport on Saturday evening. Air India flight AI-1944, operated by Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, touched the runway at 7.50 pm at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) here, he said.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal, who received them inside the Air India flight, said, “Since the beginning of this crisis, our main objective was to bring back every Indian stranded in Ukraine. 219 students have reached here. This was the first batch, the second will reach Delhi soon. We will not stop till they all come back home.”
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar also went to the airport to receive the Indian nationals. “I have arrived at the airport as the first citizen of Mumbai. We are making all necessary arrangements for the citizens and students to land in Mumbai. If anyone wants to stay, we have made arrangements for them, followed by a Covid test. Vaccination will also be taken care of.
The ministry of external affairs is making an all-out effort to bring out its citizens from Ukraine where Russia has intensified its offensive leading to a closure of its airspace. The Indian government is trying to evacuate its stranded citizens, about 20,000 of them, through alternative routes. The mission has been named Operation Ganga, as revealed by external affairs minister S Jaishankar.
Soon after, the flight landed, Jaishankar took to Twitter to welcome back the evacuated citizens tagging a tweet of Goyal who was seen speaking to the passengers aboard the Air India flight. “Glad to see the smiles on the faces of Indians safely evacuated from Ukraine at the Mumbai airport. Govt. led by PM Narendra Modi ji is working relentlessly to ensure safety of every Indian,” wrote Goyal along with the tweet.